Why Large Financial Services Companies Need to Empower Their Advisors to Join the Conversation on Social Media

Excerpt from article written for European Financial Review

By Matthew Halloran and Crystal Thies

It is old news that the financial services industry is extremely behind the curve when it comes to the adoption of social media as a branding, marketing, and sales tool – particularly those involved in sales of securities and financial advisory services.  However, a wide disparity of social media use exists between independent financial advisors and those at the largest financial companies with independent advisors being active for quite some time.  While a level of caution and care is expected of the industry managing and guarding our wealth, if the biggest names in financial services do not take action soon, it may be too late.

Given the fluidity and impermanence of social networking activity and the requirement to capture, retain, and oversee the advertising and marketing activity of those selling financial products and services, the prohibition of the use of social media four years ago was logical.  The technology to retain such activity did not exist so the price of manual retention (by both individual advisors and the companies they represented) was cost prohibitive for an unproven method of business development.  That is not the case today.  Multiple cost effective methods exist to capture, monitor, and oversee social media activity, and data are now available verifying that significant client acquisition is occurring via social media. Further, there are also statistics affirming that mass affluent to ultra high net worth investors want to be interacting with their financial advisors via social media and that they “expect more relevant and timely updates, increased transparency, and real time interaction and conversations with ­financial companies that are on social media.”

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